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Wilko fights lone battle as Toulon stumble again

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-08-28

Toulon slumped to their second home defeat in as many games on Friday, losing 36-31 to Racing-Metro, despite a commanding performance by England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson.

AFP - England star Jonny Wilkinson kicked 26 points but was unable to prevent big-spending Toulon from crashing to a 36-31 defeat by Racing-Metro on Friday, the club's second home defeat of the season.

Wilkinson kicked eight penalties and converted Argentine flanker Juan Martin Fernandez-Lobbe's 73rd-minute try.

But Racing were worthy winners, scoring three tries through flanker Antoine Battut, Italian centre Andrea Masi and Fiji winger Sireli Bobo as the ambitious Paris side moved into third place in the Top 14 table with a second victory in three games.

Racing also celebrated seeing Argentine star fly-half Juan Martin Hernandez coming off the bench to kick a penalty and convert Bobo's score to register his first points since his summer move from South African Super 14 side Sharks.

Hernandez, who spent five seasons at Stade Francais, replaced Jonathan Wisniewski on the hour mark.

"I am very happy to see Juan on the pitch. It's good to see his return. It gives me a lot of pleasure and I believe the team also," said Racing coach Pierre Berbizier.

"It's always important for a team to win at Toulon, a place where I haven't won very often. It's a great satisfaction for everyone."

Toulon lost their season opener at home to Bayonne but bounced back with a 13-3 win at last season's European Cup finalists Biarritz.

Racing slumped to a 36-19 defeat at Montpellier last week, having opened their campaign with a 23-18 win against Brive.

Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal was dismayed by his team's latest limp display.

"There wasn't a lot to make me smile. We will go to La Rochelle next and try to take the four points there. I have confidence in the team at the monent, it's a long season," he said.

"But we are not going to draw too many conclusions because we have lost twice at home."
 

Date created : 2010-08-28

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